Established in 1979, the Social Development Research Center is committed to the highest standards of research and training, in furtherance of De La Salle University-Manila’s mission to advance learning and knowledge use. Its mandate is to conduct research about, build capacities for, and promote public awareness and discussion of emerging social issues about quality of life, social development, and the nation’s growth. The Center’s three-fold mission is to conduct research on socially relevant issues responsive to the changing needs of society; to disseminate findings to the academic community and other stakeholders for advocacy and capacity building; and to establish linkages with research and academic institutions in the ASEAN Region. Its vision is to be a leading social development research center in Southeast Asia for the attainment of humane, inclusive, just, and sustainable communities through the production of transformative knowledge and social policy advocacy.
Due to its being an academic research entity, the Center has earned trust for its sense of independence, integrity and credibility from national and international funding organizations and government agencies. These organizations have commissioned the Center and its Research Fellows to conduct mission-oriented social science research along identified thrusts, namely: 1) poverty and people empowerment; 2) social development; 3) children and youth in high risk environments; 4) women’s health and gender relations; and 5) program service delivery and quality provision, among others.
Apart from providing data and analysis in over 200 studies completed since its establishment in 1979, the Center’s programs and endeavors have resulted in policies and projects that address identified needs, particularly people who need attention and services most. It is no surprise then that with respect to its research track, the Center is highly recognized for its consistent research in poverty and social development and people empowerment. SDRC has helped put up schools, generate income, organize communities, and promote better service provision in various aspects of health, governance, and social service. Moreover, by encouraging the participation of beneficiaries and enhanced service among service providers through activities such as capacity-building and training, it has further earned the trust of donor agencies and increased their belief in people’s capabilities in overcoming barriers to the promotion of growth and development, with equity of primary consideration.